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Was your African Safari your #1 or # 2 Best Trip Ever

Was your African Safari your #1 or # 2 Best Trip Ever

Apr 26th, 2011, 05:25 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 813
Strange thread, this.

I too have traveled all over the world. But that stopped after my first safari. I don't travel anymore. Now I come home.

B.regs,

J.
pixelpower is offline  
Apr 26th, 2011, 07:02 AM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
yeh, rizzuto (you caught me)... it was game drive on way to the airstrip heading to our next destination, Otherwise, you know I wouldn't have been out at that ungodly hour.
sandi is offline  
Apr 26th, 2011, 09:37 AM
  #23  
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,771
TC; How can I locate your trip report? I am interested in where you went diving and your experience.
StanKase is offline  
Apr 26th, 2011, 10:06 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 21,900
Here is the list of TC's trip reports; you can find them by clicking on her name.


http://www.fodors.com/community/prof...ripreports.cfm
ekscrunchy is offline  
Apr 26th, 2011, 06:35 PM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
StanKase,

Your posts bring out your enthusiasm and anticipation of your trip. So, my guess is your Tanzania safari shall come up as your #1 trip so far and you'll be planning other trips soon ...... only thing I can say is, do not stress too much and relax!

Cheers,
Hari
HariS is offline  
Apr 27th, 2011, 07:19 PM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Africa comes up #1 or tied for #1 of those destinations you mention or any other place I have been. I'm planning another Tanzania visit later this year, in fact.

Idle time = not really that much. There will likely be birds or animals to watch around your camps/lodges midday. The early departures, lots of fresh air, and heat combine to make a midday nap very welcome. There's at least one meal during your down time where you may end up visiting with other guests or staff to pass the time. Some camps and lodges offer activities such as cultural excursions or bird walks midday. Many places have a pool where you can splash around for a few minutes or hours. A book or two is a nice way to spend the heat of the day. I always find I never complete the amount of reading I had hoped. Just not enough down time.

"Out on safari waiting for sightings..." = Waits are not long. Usually there is something of interest in your 360 degrees of view at any given point. If you are interested in the birds, then sightings go way up.

85 F = Yes, perhaps hotter midday.
85% humidity = depends on when you are going. No humidity in dry season.
No A/C = Lodging is smartly constructed to ward off heat.

To help combat the heat, take a hand towel from the lodge or bring your own cloth or light scarf and wet it with some water from your bottle or elsewhere and keep it wrapped around your neck or head. You may want one of these things for you and offer one to your driver/guide.

Almost everyone returns saying an African safari was the best trip of their life, regardless of how many other destinations they have visited.

Pixelpower has summed it up nicely.
atravelynn is offline  
Apr 28th, 2011, 05:13 AM
  #27  
TC
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,859
Stan, By now you have found my reports. I'm not the diver, that is my husband, but we (he) would be happy to answer any questions you have on that particular subject. I will say that while he loved the diving and I the snorkeling, in hindsight, we would probably skip it for a few more days on safari.
TC is offline  
Apr 28th, 2011, 03:58 PM
  #28  
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TC; I really enjoyed your trip reports. You really "make lemonade out of lemons". We are considering going to Premba Island, a puddle jumper of 20 minutes duration. Actually a resort with Air Conditioning.I think from my reading that may be the best living coral reef system and it is a 4 hour flifgt via Zanzibar from Serengeti.Do you have any info that would be helpful?
I know you must think we are spoiled rotten. Not really. I lived in a tenament in the lower East Side of Manhattan in a 4 story walk-up until I was 9 and we had a cube of ice on an ice box until I was 5 or 6. But both my parents became attended Columbia (on scholorship-based on need, for sure) as we were growing up and they hit the big time, both became NYC high school teachers and we had a window A/C in their bedroom. Since then I have been hooked on A/C.
atravelynn; you have spelled out best how for me to cope. My wife gets buried in her new Kindle I have to get hooked on reading.
StanKase is offline  
Apr 29th, 2011, 06:35 AM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
There is only one luxe property on Pemba, Fundu Lagoon and it has a/c.

Loved you tale of ice cube atop fridge. I've only seen pics of that, but my mom tells of such.

We had 1 a/c when I was about 9/yrs old, in parents bedroom where we were put to sleep, till parents moved us to the other sans a/c rooms. Next houses, did have window units and I can no longer do without when it's hot and especially humid as NYC summers are known to be.
sandi is offline  
Apr 29th, 2011, 10:29 AM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Just got back from Tanzania on the 20th.
We did a 1 week safari that included Tarengere, Lake Manyara, Serengeti and Ngorongoro.

We also did a week before touring Dar and Moshi, then a week afterwards touring Stonetown/Zanzibar.

We saw lots of animals in Tarengere, much less at the Lake, good views in Serengeti and a really nice blend in Ngorongoro.

To be honest...we reached a point were we no longer took pictures of most of the animals. We saw so many elephants the first day, that afterwards it became routine. Sme with giraffes, zebras, baboons,etc.

The Serengeti was nice, but I think we spent a bit too much time there. Ngorongoro was the most overall scenically beautiful.

Everyday we saw something different, but after two and a half days of the plains of Serengeti...

Maybe I'm not a safari person. I enjoyed it, but if I went again I might do a shorter visit.

We stayed at the Serena hotels in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro.

I was not born a city person, so perhaps that changes my perspective of seeing 'the wild'.

I also am a firm believer that Africa is not just a 'zoo'. My memories of Tanzania also include riding the daladala from Moshi to Arusha, visiting a small village market at the base of Kilimanjaro, snorkeling of of Prison Island, negotiating the alleyways of Stonetown,etc...
Michel_Paris is offline  
Apr 29th, 2011, 02:18 PM
  #31  
TC
 
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Dear Michael, Life really is "different strokes for different folks". For this country girl, there is no such thing as too much time on safari. I can't imagine ever tiring of watching the interaction of animals in the wild. I took thousands of photos and would take a thousand more whenever the opportunity arises. I am happy you enjoyed your adventure in all it's different forms.
TC is offline  
Apr 29th, 2011, 04:37 PM
  #32  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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After my 1st time to Africa in '03 (other than being born there), it took over my soul and I have been back every year since. Africa has become a HUGE part of me...and I can't imagine life without it. The end! ;-)
divewop is offline  
Apr 29th, 2011, 06:20 PM
  #33  
 
Join Date: May 2005
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I have visited 40+ countries on six continents, including multiple trips to Asia, Latin America, Australia and Europe. (Have also lived in three "developing" countries). My husband is a major traveler as well. We both would rank our Kenyan safari, which was only 9 full days, as one of our top three trips ever. And we both had the same reaction on the first day of our safari: Why haven't we done this sooner?

Having said that, we visited in July - no humidity, ideal weather in general, not too much traveling around, and our one long wait to see the migration was relaxing and fun, not tedious.

We, too, were concerned about sitting around in bumpy vehicles, but made sure to include some walking safaris - one was 14 kilometers. And we also were afraid the journey would be too touristy, regimented and/or "colonial", but because we stayed in the Porini camps, the authentic cultural experience was as much of a highlight as the wildlife.
crosscheck is online now  
Apr 30th, 2011, 07:10 AM
  #34  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Well I will say that after a few days of seeing Africa thru a lense, and snapping away... it's nice to put the camera down and just enjoy it all thru your own eyes.

I'm never bored in Africa, whether game drives, or sitting out in fresh air and reading a book and being surprised at what animals might 'just be there'... you make your safari what you wish it to be. No one ever said you have to go out on ever game drive as there are other options.
sandi is offline  
May 1st, 2011, 08:58 PM
  #35  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 279
Having travelled to many countries to see wildlife I do not think the experience of coming around a corner and seeing a huge silverback gorilla quietly eating his lunch will ever be topped. I am going back again, third trip but this time to Madagascar as I truly love the rainforest and do not nearly enjoy being in a truck and prefer to explore on foot. I used to hate humidity but now something about it is almost cleansing in a weird way.
lhgreenacres is offline  
May 2nd, 2011, 05:10 AM
  #36  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
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I try to focus on the fact that humidity does wonders for my skin!
Femi is offline  
May 2nd, 2011, 07:38 AM
  #37  
 
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I guess my point was...consider doing more than a safari in your chosen country. There is something of a bubble effect when you go to a country and just do a safari, Does that make sense?

And yes, the roads can be quite bumpy. I now understand why they do not recommend that you rent a vehicle on your own.

We planned our trip directly with the tour company. We sued guides to identify the better ones, then e-mailed. I think we got a good price. I know one company we originally contact in the US stated that there was a $1000 fee up front, then the cost of the tour.

I had 1681 pictures/videos to download when I got home
Michel_Paris is offline  
May 2nd, 2011, 09:09 AM
  #38  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 7,391
All 6 of my trips to Africa have been #1. Hopefully I'll make it back there next year for another #1.
matnikstym is offline  
May 4th, 2011, 05:17 AM
  #39  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 597
We did our first safari last September and loved it. If I had a choice between another safari or something else, I'd probably take the safari every time and do the other stuff when safari wasn't an option, or in between safari. We did 21 days (I think) and about 11 of them were in Tanzania. Here is my trip report:

http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...never-will.cfm

In Tanzania we had a pop-top LandCruiser and I LOVED it! Open top, open windows, only the 2 of us so plenty of room to move around, never a problem seeing anything, and the option to close up all of it by choice.

We stayed in Olivers, Dunia, Ngorongoro Serena, and Sayari in Tanzania. The three camps are all owned by the same company, so we got a discount for staying with them all those nights.

In the Serengeti, although not the season for the main part of the migration down there, when the wildebeests are dropping their calves, we saw enough at Dunia to be happy. Although, even at that time it was packed with cars. It looked deserted, but all the cars seemed to go to the same areas. Except at Sayari, because that is far enough off the beaten path that there were hardly any cars at the river crossing. A real luxury if you've seen the traffic jams at the crossings in the Mara. But in the Serengeti, you are restricted to staying on the roads. This can be frustrating because if there is a lion or leopard sighting all the cars in the area will come along and it gets crowded, and you can't move in closer because of the traffic.

I'd have to say, do get up really, really early and take a bush breakfast because that's when you'll likely see more action than in the afternoons.

We loved all the camps, but especially Dunia because it just 'felt' like an African safari. But don't take that to mean we didn't also love the others for different reasons.

I think you will always have lots of cars in the crater just because it's a crater and a popular destination.

I did a photo book, which you can see on line: http://www.mypublisher.com/?e=OHm3Q8...&showForm=true

I had so many photos I ended up doing 3 separate books, one for each country. In this book I've actually put in a number of photos of Dunia Camp just because I loved the atmosphere.

Our next safari will undoubtedly be to S Africa, Botswana, Zambia, and Namibia. Not necessarily in one trip.

Whatever you decide to do, you will probably love it and become hooked like everyone else here. You must have noticed that we are here regardless of whether we have just come back or are planning on going. We just hang out.
tinydancer is offline  
May 4th, 2011, 08:26 AM
  #40  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,657
It was our #1 trip and we are hoping to get back next year. We went to Cape Town (met up w/some Fodorites for a day!) and then did our safari to Botswana.

Our #2 trip was to China.

But we totally enjoy visiting Europe and touring around the US as well.
uhoh_busted is offline  

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